MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A retired nurse is on a mission to help health care workers in the Mid-South stock up on N-95 masks.
Renato Zalamea president of the Memphis Mission of Mercy is using supplies, originally meant for a mission trip, to help those on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak, right here at home. He’s been loading and unloading boxes all day.
“We’re a small group trying to do something big,” said Zalamea.
The boxes contain thousands of N-95 masks they planned to use for their mission trip to the Philippines that’s been postponed because of COVID-19.
Zalamea says he and his group started calling nursing homes, clinics and hospitals ready to share the supplies.
He’s set up at his home, inviting healthcare workers to pick up the masks that are in high demand.
While the masks were manufactured in 2013, Zalamea reached out to the Centers for Disease Control to confirm they can still be used.
Healthcare workers are grateful.
“They cannot believe its free,” said Zalamea.
Even though he and his wife Norma are of an age that’s health experts report is high-risk for contracting the coronavirus, he says that’s not going to stop them from helping.
“You’ve got to have a reason for living. If we just don’t do anything at all being old, well yeah I can understand going under,” said Zalamea. “Bot not us.”
For health care workers wanting N95 masks, you can call the number 901-289-3931.